Efficacy of Staged Oronasal Fistula Reconstruction and Improved Bone Graft Survival in Cleft Patients Undergoing Secondary Reconstruction

Amanda N. Awad, Olivia F. Watman, Brittany N. Nguyen, Aditi M. Kanth, Oluwaseun A. Adetayo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of the senior author’s technique of staged reconstruction in patients with recalcitrant oronasal fistulas. Design: A retrospective review of the Pediatric Plastic Surgery Cleft & Craniofacial Surgery Database of cases from September 2013 to December 2018 was conducted. Patients: A total of 31 patients who had previously undergone >1 surgical attempt to repair a fistula or patients who have failed >1 attempt at bone graft were included in this study. All patients were referrals from outside facilities. Main Outcome Measures: Primary outcomes examined included fistula recurrence, infection rates, ability to proceed with second stage bone grafting after first stage fistula takedown and reconstruction, and bone graft loss. Results: Charts of 1053 patients were reviewed and 31 (2.94%) cases met inclusion criteria for this study. Nineteen (61.3%) of these patients proceeded with the second stage of reconstruction and 100% did not experience any graft loss. Seven patients who completed the first stage are undergoing orthodontic optimization prior to bone grafting. The remaining 5 are adult patients not interested in pursuing bone grafting. All 31 patients with recurrent and recalcitrant fistulas had successful fistula reconstruction with our approach, despite multiple previous failed reconstructions. Conclusions: The 2-staged reconstructive approach described herein effectively resulted in resolution of prior recurrent recalcitrant fistulas and resulted in eventual bone grafting. By employing this technique, we report successful fistula repair and bone grafting in patients who had previously undergone multiple surgical reconstructions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1077-1085
Number of pages9
JournalCleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • bone grafting
  • cleft complications
  • fistula
  • oronasal fistula
  • palatoplasty
  • revision palatoplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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